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A Few Extra Remarks
on Guy Debord - Revolutionary


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16.  l e n  b r a c k e n

    Bill. In Louis Janover's Nuit et brouillard du révisionnisme, the fellow travellers of the Guillaume's Old Mole bookshop, now allegedly a center of revisionism and negationism, are dismissed as "sulfurous" and worse. I write a little about this in Liquid Zinc, a journal of my May, 1997 trip to Paris, but not much because I'm too far removed from this gossip to get bogged down in it. I look forward to Brown's full report on the topic, so long as it doesn't amplify the importance of someone so discredited as Guillaume.
  1. The publication of Guy Debord's photographic Panegyrique II (which Brown conceded, probably wouldn't be very relevant to biographers), hasn't made my "Debord for Beginners" book obsolete, any more than the English translation of the Jappe's Guy Debord. I recommend Jappe's book, which I found instructive on several points, such as Debord's almost Platonic sense of truth. But he's unfortunate to have Donald Nicholson-Smith (a "pseudo-pederast" according to Debord) as his translator - see my "Turning Gold into Lead" for a critique of Nicholson-Smith's atrocious translations of Society of the Spectacle and Revolution of Daily Life. Incidentally, Nicholson-Smith and Jappe have responded to my letters and gifts with the counter-revolutionary response of non-communication. Nor do they show any signs that I am aware of, of wanting to participate in bringing situationistic activity into the next millennium. In any case, I attempted to provide more world history, intellectual history and history of the SI in my narrative than previous books on the subject because I didn't take for granted knowledge of the origins of the topics under discussion. This approach, I believe, gives my book a fullness and comprehensibility that is unsurpassed in the literature on Debord and the SI. I'll leave it to others to decide if my exposition of historical facts and analysis of the fundamental concepts is more illuminating than Jappe's academic analysis of esoteric points of philosophy. That said, I'm well aware that my book isn't the "definitive" take on Debord. When a more useful book on the topic comes along, trust me, I'll be the first to sing its praises.

MY FINAL REPLY to the charge of obsolesce is that Bill Brown's Not Bored! web site apparently hasn't keep pace with fundamental aspects of Marxist theory, dating back to the XIXth Century and reappearing in a coherent and consistent way in Debord. If I'm wrong, he should be able to tell me where the "reversible connecting factor" has been used as a weapon in a revolutionary struggle. The use of empty phrases like the "reversible connecting factor" makes it easier for the spectacle to suppress efforts to build a new revolutionary force based on the SI legacy. I'm not slavish to ready-made Marxist terminology, but I think that Debord deserves to be discussed in his own terms, and besides, why reinvent the wheel? Concepts must be given. . .

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